Failing to do things with words

Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (1):135-142 (2009)
Abstract
It has become standard for feminist philosophers of language to analyze Catherine MacKinnon's claim in terms of speech act theory. Backed by the Austinian observation that speech can do things and the legal claim that pornography is speech, the claim is that the speech acts performed by means of pornography silence women. This turns upon the notion of illocutionary silencing, or disablement. In this paper I observe that the focus by feminist philosophers of language on the failure to achieve uptake for illocutionary acts serves to group together different kinds of illocutionary silencing which function in very different ways.
Keywords speech acts  pornography  MacKinnon, Catherine
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